Government injects £61m into ‘Europe’s largest’ flying lab for climate change

The jet supports research on environmental challenges such as climate change and severe weather events

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The government has announced a new £61 million investment into a plane claimed to be Europe’s largest flying laboratory for climate change.

The funding aims to support UK scientists to continue environmental research missions at altitudes of up to ten kilometres to collect data on emission and pollution levels from remote locations around the world.

The laboratory is designed to help researchers understand severe weather events, the causes behind rising methane in the Arctic and the effect of biomass burning. It will also be used to monitor volcanic gases for signs of a potential eruption.

The jet, which is based at Cranfield University and Airport, Bedfordshire, is owned by UK Research and Innovation and managed through the National Centre for Atmospheric Science.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “Facilities like the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements Airborne Laboratory help ensure the UK remains at the forefront of tackling the most enduring threat to our planet while also supporting our innovative and brilliant scientific community.”

Image: FAAM

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